Foreign Policy Digital

Economic Band-Aids Won’t Bring Peace to the Middle East

European leaders should not lend support to a Trump administration plan that dangles economic carrots to Palestinians while entrenching the Israeli occupation.

Economics will take center stage at the U.S.-sponsored workshop in Bahrain starting Tuesday. The Trump administration hopes that the unveiling of the economic component of its so-called deal of the century will encourage regional and international investment in the Palestinian economy, thus helping to overcome hurdles to a political agreement and advance Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

The initiative has faced strong resistance from Palestinians who doubt U.S. intentions. Nevertheless, the Trump administration has sought to enlist a mix of government officials and business leaders from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Many international partners have been lukewarm toward the initiative, however, including traditional U.S. allies, such as Egypt and Jordan. Their reticence makes sense: The idea that economic inducements can succeed where diplomacy cannot has had a pretty dismal track record over the last century.

Jared Kushner’s current plan is likely to fail like so many before it—and European leaders should not be lured into supporting a doomed plan that

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